In 2010, a Ziploc television commercial aired that discouraged people from wasting food. I was so happy to see that – because I knew then that I wasn’t the only one!
I don’t know anyone who doesn’t occasionally have mystery food or a little “penicillin” in their fridge. I think this is particularly true if you have a very full fridge or freezer or you are a bulk purchaser. I’ve developed some tools to help me eliminate food waste. Okay, so I haven’t eliminated it yet, but it is dramatically reduced.
Buy only what you need
- Plan a menu and shop accordingly
- Plan to use leftovers in the menu
- Store leftovers in the way that best suits your planned future use; i.e. for another meal or as a snack.
- Keep a list of leftovers on the fridge
If, like me, you are a volume or sale shopper, the “buy only what you need” method obviously won’t work.
- Keep an inventory of perishable foods and frozen foods – I keep this list on the fridge and plan menus from what is on hand.
- For frozen and non-perishable food I keep a list of anything with an expiration date within 6 months.
- The inventories help me to create a shopping list.
- Separate your bulk food purchases for storage as soon as possible.
- Prepare vegetables and fruit for use – cut up vegetables, cut grape vines to create individual serving bunches, etc.
- I use a lazy Susan for round containers and plastic baskets for other containers – it makes them more accessible
- Store perishable foods in specialized containers such as the following:’Insert here from amazon
- Organizational experts suggest square or rectangular containers because they are more easily stacked and take up less space.
- Clear containers are best – you can see what’s in them.
- Reports indicate that glass is safer than plastic for food storage. I recycle glass jars and bottles for this purpose. There are a number of inexpensive new products available.
- For long-term storage of perishable foods and for preventing freezer burn, it might be cost effective to purchase a vacuum-bag system.
Tupperware 3-Piece FridgeSmart Set**
This is the system I use. It was the first that I saw on the market. The bottom is ridged so that contents don’t sit it moisture and there are two vents so that the airflow can be adjusted depending on what you are storing. Guidelines for use are included. I’ve kept strawberries fresh in these containers for 2 weeks!
There are less expensive systems such as those below: but I have not used these so cannot recommend.
Following are two of the available vacuum-seal systems available.
This first system is from Ziploc and the second is a Food Saver system. This Food Saver is currently 37% off and includes bags and dry food containers.
These tips have helped me immensely. These days, I rarely need to throw out any unused food. I hope that they will be helpful to you.